South Tyneside households and visitors thanked as borough begins to bounce back after reopenings

Shoppers, drinkers and diners have been buzzing to be back enjoying businesses – and council chiefs have thanked people for sticking to the rules as South Tyneside eyes even more reopenings in May.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 10:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 10:34 am
The Dockyard sales manager Kyrie Geach following easing of lockdown measures on the hospitality sector.

Non-essential shops, outdoor attractions, leisure facilities, and, of course, outdoor hospitality reopened on April 12, and a sunny first weekend of eased restrictions saw crowds descending on the seafront and customers back in town centres.

But Stuart Wright, Head of Environment at South Tyneside Council, said households had been well behaved and stuck to the rules.

“It’s been good to see people back out again, spending time outdoors with family and friends, enjoying leisure facilities and social activities as well as supporting our local shops and businesses, whilst observing the rules,” he said.

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The first South Shields market following easing of lockdown, on Friday April 16.

“The latest step in the easing of restrictions has marked a milestone, particularly for the non-essential retail and hospitality sectors, and the council has been working closely with businesses to help them get ready to reopen safely after an extremely tough time.

“This has involved supporting our shops and market traders, as well as our bars, cafes and restaurants, to prepare for a busy first weekend of trading again and we are delighted the feedback received so far has been very positive.

“We thank everyone for continuing to follow the Government guidance, for being sensible and respectful in helping to keep themselves and others safe.”

Friends have been back mixing in beer gardens and outdoor seating areas at pubs and cafes.

The next key date in the Government’s roadmap for lifting restrictions is May 17, which would see indoor hospitality, hotels, hostels and B&Bs, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes returning.

Larger events would also be allowed to take place if the roadmap goes to schedule, with groups of up to 30 allowed to gather indoors and the ‘rule of six or two households’ applying indoors.

Mr Wright said: “We would encourage South Tyneside residents to continue backing local businesses while adhering to the restrictions and remembering the importance of the public health messages around hands, face, space and fresh air.

“It just takes a little planning and patience until we are all ready to take the next step safely in line with restrictions being lifted further next month, as anticipated. In order for this to happen, we all need to play our part.”

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